ISRAELI ambassador Ron Prosor met individual representatives of Moyle District Council in Coleraine last week to discuss Moyle’s recent decision to support ‘twinning’ with Gaza.
A formal document has yet to be signed to cement the twinning and a decision is not expected to be taken until the new Council comes in after the May 5 elections.
Meanwhile, Independent councillor Padraig McShane said historically it is only fitting that Moyle can help Gaza as the Middle East has helped Ireland in the past.
He said: “In 1845 when Hunger and Starvation raged across the tiny Island of Ireland, even those who occupied her turned their backs on the wretched plight unfolding, exporting from her shores barley, wheat and livestock - enough to feed the Nation. Into the breech stepped both the the Choctaw Indian who raised $710 (£1million today) and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
“The Empire, which included Palestine, offered to send £10,000 (£20million pounds today) to relieve the suffering of the Irish Population. But Queen Victoria insisted that the Sultan send £1000 as she herself had only committed to send £2000.
“The Sultan sent the £1000 Sterling but also secretly sent 3 ships full of Aid. On hearing of the adventure, the Queen’s courts moved to block the ships. Unperturbed the Sailors of the Ottoman fleet arrived at Drogheda Harbour and, landing their Aid, smashed the siege imposed by Victoria’s Courts.
“Because of this single act of kindness from a Nation we had no prior history with, we Irish have a duty to respond to the current plight unfolding in Gaza. When the sailors of the Ottoman Empire broke the siege of Irish Ports to help relieve the suffering of the population, they set in train a motion that would ensure in 2011, the people of Moyle would respond in kind with a Twinning process with Gaza and all the benefits that would bring to the besieged and long suffering population there. The Council has made history becoming the first to Twin with Gaza. Other Councils in Ireland are keen to follow in our footsteps,” said Cllr McShane.